No rest yet for cops on election duty

  • Written by Alfred P. Dalizon
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 403

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said police will continue to perform their election duties until after all winners in the generally peaceful synchronized Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay elections last Monday are proclaimed.

“The task is not yet over for the PNP as we will continue to perform election duties as deputies of the Comelec until May 21 or next Monday. My strict instruction is for my men to remain in their post until everything has been settled,” the PNP chief said.

“PNP personnel performing election duty continue to man their posts in some voting centers where counting, canvassing and proclamation activities are still being held, as we speak,” he added.

The PNP National Election Monitoring Center received reports of election-related incidents from the 17 Police Regional Offices particularly the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which recorded minor incidents during election, he said.

These units, particularly the 1,404 police personnel detailed as members of the Board of Election Tellers are under strict instructions to remain in their assigned posts until after all election activities are completed and election materials had been returned to local Comelec authorities in the cities and municipalities, Gen. Albayalde explained.

Election linked death

According to the PNP chief, they monitored last Monday eight suspected violent incidents including seven minor incidents in South Cotabato, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.

He said that the violence resulted in a lone fatality in South Cotabato.  “These incidents add up to a total of 38 suspected election related shooting incidents reported since the election period began on April 14, 2018,” the PNP chief said.

Gen. Albayalde said there were eight reported incidents of vote-buying in Cavite, Batangas City, Tarlac, Bohol, Taguig City, Aklan, Negros Occidental and Lucena City. Arrests were made by local police for violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

“Overall, I am personally satisfied with the outcome of all election security operations by PNP Units despite the long duty hours that commenced on Friday, May 11, 2018 when we placed the entire PNP under Full Alert condition to assume election duties. The 2018 Barangay and SK Election was generally peaceful,” he said during a briefing at Camp Crame where he was joined by PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Deputy Director General Fernando H. Mendez Jr., PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent John C. Bulalacao and PNP National Operations Center head, Chief Supt. Alfredo Valdez.

Eriguel killing

Gen. Albayalde said that they have also validated the killing of former La Union representative Eufranio Eriguel as an “election-related incident” as he announced the arrest of a candidate for barangay chairman in La Union for his involvement in the killing of the politician and his two bodyguards last Saturday night.

The PNP chief said that Felizardo Villanueva alias Rambo, a candidate for village chief of Bgy Capas, Agoo municipality is now facing multiple murder charges and violation of the Omnibus Election Code. Albayalde said that the suspect was arrested and detained by agents of the Police Regional Office under Chief Superintendent Romulo E. Sapitula following information provided by some witnesses.